In the midst of our hectic lives, dealing with rapidly changing times there is comfort in the fact that the Winter Solstice arrives as it has since the dawn of time. The yin/yang cycle of the return of the light is here as the days gradually begin to lengthen. This is the day when the Sun enters Capricorn and marks the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere – the exact moment when the wheel of the seasons turns. This year the Winter Solstice (Summer in the Southern hemisphere) is on 12/21 at 12:11p Eastern Time – 5:11p Universal Time.
Find fun and interesting facts about the Solstice at Farmer’s Almanac and EarthSkyalways has good info on the Solstices and is a great site in general.
The Solstice chart is the birth chart of this new season and indicates trends for the upcoming months. On this day the Sun always enters craggy earth sign Capricorn, which is ruled by “Lord of the Material World” Saturn.
This year’s Solstice chart is not tightly concentrated as in some years. It has a scatter-shot planetary configuration which indicates less focus but greater flexibility. A dominant feature is the long standing tense cardinal cross hanging in the heavens, but it also intimates positive energies to come. All planets are in forward motion except for huge and mighty Jupiter who retrogrades in watery, emotional Cancer as if to say: “Private emotions create stronger tides than anyone wants to admit."
The Sun as always is at 0* Capricorn and at the Solstice moment begins to move toward Pluto in Capricorn adding energy to a T-Square (double 90 angles) to Mars in Libra and Uranus in Aries. This uneasy configuration re-emphasizes challenges between forces who want to maintain the status quo at any cost (ex: Assad in Syria) and the forces of change be they covert (eg: NSA leaker Snowden) or overt (eg: Ukranian protesters).
Here in the US militant Mars calmed by his travels in diplomatic Libra gave a large boost to the budget compromise just passed by Congress. It’s not perfect but at least it ends the divisive and ugly budget battles until 2015 which is a rare miracle in Washington these days - thank you Mars! Mercury traveling in optimistic Sagittarius must have helped out too. On the Solstice Mercury flies at 25* Sagittarius tapping into the Galactic Center. This cosmic messenger helps continue a positive Saggie vibe and uplift mind and communication to the highest level possible. A nice omen for the season.
Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, maintains his powerful position in intense Scorpio. Like the wizard behind the curtain, Saturn/Scorpio wants to direct attention elsewhere so no one realizes the true situation. The Moon, which represents the public, is in regal Leo and forms a challenging square to Saturn. She is in no mood to be ignored and will let Saturn know it too! In fact, a Leo Moon gives a boost to those wanting to pull back the curtain to expose the puppet masters. The fact that change-agent Uranus moves forward again in testy Aries at the Solstice is another indicator of people waking up and demanding to know why so few hold the boot down on so many.
While the Moon feels cranky toward Saturn, Jupiter does not. Huge Jupiter is retorgrade in emotionally driven Cancer, and Saturn in Scorpio reaches out to re-form part of the Grand Water Trine gracing the heavens off and on since the Summer. Jupiter retro in Cancer is focused more internally at the moment, minding the business of family and keeping the home warm and safe against the winter winds. At the Solstice Saturn sends a text telling Jupiter to remain optimistic, the healing flow returns with the Spring.
The 21st is also the day when Venus in Capricorn goes retrograde at 4:53pm ET just a few hours after the Solstice arrives, so although she is direct at the moment of the Solstice her energy is slow. Venus is a loving help-mate in the heavens who always has your back. Venus in Capricorn is a steel magnolia – capable and imposing with the strength to withstand anything that comes her way, yet soft and feminine with an inner magnetic glow. The fact that Venus goes retrograde the day of the Solstice chills her warm nature, as if she feels winter’s icy cold more than in other years. See my post on Venus Retrogradefor more information. Here is a good article from Celestial Light Astrologyon Venus retro through each house.
Neptune and Chiron in spiritual Pisces are off in their own cosmic corner discussing how to help the world better understand the power of Love in Action. Pope Francis is an emissary for this heavenly message and it is fascinating to watch how people respond to his teachings. The masses have fallen in love with this People’s Pope who walks his talk and reaches out with hands of peace and comfort to those in need yet is not afraid to chastise selfishness and greed. While those who resist his message of sharing and caring for all God’s children throw stones of malice and circle their wagons to hide from this new glare. Here are a few highlightsof what Pope Francis’ has done this year. This Pisces message is a raised whisper at the Solstice but as time moves on gets louder and louder. When the Spring Equinox arrives it will be very hard to ignore!
All in all this new season has a bit of this and a dollop of that, without much gravy to cover it all. It is up to each one to tend to your inner flame. Spend more time with yourself and your loved ones and you’ll find just the right spice to bring out your flavor of choice.
Bright Blessings to you and yours at this time of ascending light!
IMAGE NOTE: This is a photo taken during a Solar Eclipse in January 2010. It perfectly captures the play between light and dark at this Solstice time. I’ve had it saved since then and would love to attribute it, but at this point I’m not sure where I found it, nor who took this amazing picture.